Dealing with his Insecurities.
I have seen a spate of men in weird outfits on social media recently. Call me old fashioned but I still love a man in a suit who smells yummy.
I also believe that manners maketh the man, but what is a 21st Century man. We want him to be all things.
We like to think that our men are confident, strong, funny, in touch with his feminine side and a man!
It is more confusing than ever for men to find their place in society. They have to walk a fine line between being politically incorrect, a sexual predator, misogynistic and much more.
We want them to be a MAN with no real thought about how that plays out. I feel quite sorry for them. I’m not saying that they should be given a pass (they’ve had it good for long enough), but the ground is shifting, and it feels almost impossible to find solid footing.
They have insecurities about their body, education, status, hair loss and much more, just like us.
They might not talk about it with their mates, but they are there and left unaddressed can be very destructive in a relationship.
He may feel insecure if you earn more than him, are a lot younger, have a wider circle of friends, are more confident, have had more sexual partners etc. Think about what puts your tail in spin and chances are he feels pretty similar.
I have seen many women compensate for their partner’s insecurities by changing who they are, giving up friendships, jobs and hobbies.
He has insecurities so how do you deal with them without changing who you are?
The role of the women has changed so dramatically.
A generation ago – barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen was where a woman was expected to be. I was one of only three women in my class that went on to university to get a degree. The rest married and became homemakers. It seems as if that was an easier time!
Now a young woman’s place is IN THE WORLD!
Women are progressing so rapidly, achieving in every sphere and often overtaking their men academically, in business, and salary.
Men are feeling disempowered, not only in South Africa, but worldwide. You don’t have to be a psychologist to realise that this is causing insecurities in the men. They are feeling “impotence”, not only in their intimate life but also in their work, relationships and family.
Their insecurity will manifest in different ways: He may become depressed, anxious, be passive aggressive, withdrawn or will show bravado to mask his insecurity. They can often become very confrontational and aggressive leading to the pandemic of gender- based violence we are experiencing.
A 29-year-old sales manager says that when she got the promotion and started earning more than him, he became jealous and abusive. “He started making comments to friends about how I’d slept my way to the top and would use every opportunity to belittle me.”
She broke up with him after a 4-year relationship saying that “I grew in confidence and he became more miserable. He just couldn’t cope with me being more successful than him!”
On the other hand, some men who are confident in themselves do not see this as a competition. They are thrilled that their partner is successful and support her all of the way. Find yourself one of these!
This is usually a relationship built on mutual respect. Essential in any relationship. Once respect goes the rest will follow fairly quickly thereafter.
This breadwinner role is a touchy subject. Sometimes the man is quite relieved that she is taking over the breadwinner role. Other times it is the woman who starts to lose respect for her partner because he is not ambitious enough. Which can be an equally destructive.
A process of negotiation and setting ground rules is important in defining the relationship. Any change is difficult, if your relationship is being affected, get some professional counselling.
Don’t wait for it to get out of hand. Once the damage has been done it is very difficult to pull it back from the brink.
Some say the key to coping with an insecure man is to share everything.
Share your feelings, share the work stress, share the household duties and make him feel important in the home. Tell him how much you appreciate his help with everything and allow him to make some decisions, especially about he things that are important to him.
But don’t compromise yourself in the process. Be the best you can be and if he has a problem with that then get some help. A man I know said that he had to deal with this power dynamic change in his own life.
His suggestion “Get over it!” Stop whining and be happy, life is a journey and as long as you do it together who cares who earns more?
Good advice indeed!